Trend: Reusable Glass Water Bottles for Outdoors

Polycarbonate water bottle were standard in the outdoors for years. Then came a chemical scare around 2005 with the knowledge that a potentially harmful compound called bisphenol-A, or BPA, was present in the plastic.

Next, metal bottles came onto the scene. Stainless steel vessels from a slew of manufacturers became default for hikers and backpackers and everyday drinkers looking for a “pure” water-toting solution.

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Glass water bottles sold as purer solutions

This year, glass is in the spotlight. The perceived clean sweep of silica as a bottle material is being marketed by niche outfits as well as major players like CamelBak Products.

Reusable glass vessels — not throw-away or recyclable bottles — offer a clean look and a material that can keep water fresh. They are easy to sanitize in a dishwasher or by hand in a sink.

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Broken bottle: PURE Glass Bottle cracked from blunt fall (note that its glass does not shatter)

But glass bottles can shatter and crack if dropped outside. The companies who market to outdoors users know this and offer a few solutions. (See the PURE bottle above, which employs a thin film over its glass.)

Another protective concept, CamelBak adds a removable silicone sleeve on its Eddy Glass bottle, which comes to market next month. The sleeve gives grip and a thin, bump-absorbing cover.

CamelBak will sell the 25-ounce capacity bottle for $25 when it comes to market next month. Its glass is durable — think milk jug versus a drinking glass, but not as heavy. They are made in a French factory that’s one of the world’s largest producers of glass food containers, the company cites.

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Eddy Glass bottle from CamelBak comes with silicone sleeve for protection and grip

Another option, PURE Glass Bottle is a brand based in Baltimore. Its reusable bottles are made of glass but with a protective clear shell that “encapsulates the glass and prevents messes and injuries from breakage,” as the company puts it.

The exterior of the PURE bottle is coated in a smooth polycarbonate-like material. You can’t see it — the bottle just looks like pure glass — but you can feel it there. The coating has a bit of grip to it so that with sweaty hands it’s easier to grab.

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PURE Glass Bottles

If broken, the PURE bottle’s coating stays intact. The inner bottle may crack, but the coating keeps it from shattering. (See image of broken bottle above.)

The company sells two bottle types, both starting at about $20 on

Like CamelBak, Takeya uses a silicone sleeve on its Modern Glass Water Bottle, a 16-ounce vessel. It has a plastic lid that screws on. You can see the water level inside the bottle through a slit in the protection cover.

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Takeya USA Modern Glass Water Bottle

The Takeya bottles come in a few colors and cost $17.99. Like all of the bottles in this review, these are not “performance” outdoor or fitness products — you would not use them cycling or backpacking, though on a hike they could work fine.

Finally, Bamboo Bottle Company offers a different glass option. The company’s modular design includes a glass inner bottle, screw-on caps, and a bamboo cover. It is likely the most durable of the glass bottles in this story.

A sleeve made of bamboo slips on to offer a protective cover. It secures in place once you screw on a plastic nut, which clamps the bamboo sleeve down.

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Modular: Bamboo Bottle Company’s glass bottle with bamboo sleeve

Bamboo Bottles have 17 ounces of liquid capacity and cost about $20. A removable plastic lid threads onto the glass top. You unscrew it to access the liquid inside and drink, an ostensibly clean pour coming from the glass container, cool and pure, straight into your mouth.

—Stephen Regenold is editor of Connect with Regenold at or on Twitter via @TheGearJunkie.

Posted by Brian - 08/27/2012 09:33 AM

I could never see myself using glass. My Nalgenes get dropped onto rocks and bumped into trailside obstacles far too often. I would not like the feeling that I’m one misstep away from finding myself a number of miles and a summit or two away from my next drink.

Posted by Quoodle - 08/27/2012 03:57 PM

I too feel it would be a risk to break the bottle – even if I don’t have to worry about it shattering all around. (if it “chips” on the inside, might I accidentally drink broken glass?)

But I can’t thinking what’s next in this retro trend? Animal skins?

Posted by thecastlefords - 08/27/2012 06:50 PM

So what kind of weight are these bottles running at? Surely heavier than stainless steel…?

Other than that, aesthetically they sure look great. I can see a lot of our slightly-upper-class weekend warriors (and their wives) just loving them :D

Posted by jpea - 08/29/2012 06:45 AM

this might the result of practicality taking too many cues from BPA fear mongering…

Posted by Lindsey Clark - 08/30/2012 02:45 PM

I love reusing my glass jars (from coconut oil, almond butter, etc) as drinking vessels! It would be hard to justify purchasing one of these glass water bottles when they are so prevalent in my life already…

Posted by Erica - 08/31/2012 10:27 AM

These are cool, but I am a big fan of the new Eco Bottle- they aren’t as heavy as the glass ones! The only thing i really care about is that they don’t leak and they keep my water chilly! (

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Posted by Jane - 03/10/2014 07:19 PM

Even though glass water bottles may not be the best to use in some sports activities, they are still an excellent choice. And especially with so many companies designing them to be shatter proof. Water always tastes better out of glass.

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